Note: This was pulled from the old lost archives so it comes from a few years back, but still applies today. Obviously I don’t offer design services anymore since I partner with someone who is more than capable of handling that stuff.
As a designer beginning his own company it is important for me to have clients that believe in the service that I am offering and that service being designing web sites. Not only am I offering them a service, but I am also giving them a product, which is their own website. I wish that every client I have now will find my work good enough that they will refer me to others. This is obviously the best form of advertising and the best way to get business.
Now in my area there are a lot of designers (as I am sure there are in your area) who offer web design services. However, their services differ from mine. They create websites and offer many other services like database design and networking. I create websites and offer a limited amount of services. See, creating quality websites today requires great skill because there are many different things that you need to know. This is especially true if you wish to design CSS based websites. I want clients that can see that the service that I am offering them is quality. Sure the guy down the street can build their site for $500, but will that same guy put as much care and love into creating the site as I will? Will he be creating a site that when it comes time to update does not require hours or days to do so he can charge them a high fee? Will he create a site that follows the standards set by a governing body?
I need to pay bills just as much as the next guy. If someone offers me $500 and I let them know that if they want everything that I can offer them it will cost more and they still only offer me $500, then they will only get $500 worth of my skill and work. However, if I approach a client with a proposal that states they are getting my best quality work for $1600, then I obligate myself to offering them my best work and that includes building a standards compliant site.
I am a designer who offers quality. I create sites in CSS because I know down the road when it comes time to update the site I can do it quickly for my client at a reasonable fee. My client does not care if the site was created in CSS or tables. That was my decision. My client does not care if his site validates or that it follows some standards set by a governing body. However, I care because I wish to offer the finest service and product that my client paid for and that is one of the reasons I try to stick with standards.
Believe me I know how much of a pain it can be trying to get pages to validate. Actually I don’t, because whenever a page does not validate I can usually find the error quickly and change it. It seems the only hassle to getting pages to validate is going to the W3C site and typing in the url. I use a Firebird extension to take care of that for me so checking pages is almost no hassle at all. Even though this site validates it is not imperative to me that it does unlike my clients’ sites because at the moment this site does not pay the bills. However, the people who do pay the bills for me, deserve a quality standards based site if they expect to get all their money’s worth.
I am not preaching to anyone or forcing my beliefs of web design upon you. I just wanted everyone to see the ethical code that I have placed upon myself, which helps to explain why I design the way I do and why I like standards.